Mind your business.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Donald Trump Treated That Reporter With More Respect and Dignity Than Meryl Streep

Stop yelling at me.

You don't even know what I'm going to say yet.

Look, this isn't because I support Trump. Because I don't.

So there, now that I've made everybody hate me, let's just look at this and consider a new idea that hasn't occurred to you and maybe you can think about it.

I'm just calling it like I see it...

At the Golden Globes Meryl Streep took a moment that was all about honoring her and her lifetime achievement, and gave it away to Trump for more free publicity. His worst detractors just can't help themselves. They're actually his biggest fans.

Meryl Streep said:

"There was one performance this year that stunned me.

It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.

It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life."

Streep put the disability before the person. 

Meryl Streep literally broke the number one rule of respect when talking about someone with a disability and did more than Trump to disrespect that New York Times reporter.

#1 on DiversityInc's list of 6 Things NEVER to Say About Disabilities is:

'Never say "a disabled person" or "the disabled." Say a person or people "with disabilities." Put the person first. A disability is what someone has, not what someone is.'

The way Streep talked about Serge (that's the man's name by the way) his defining characteristic is "disabled." In her way of talking about him, it's what he is, not something he has.

See Streep thinks of Serge in a class of people, a delicate, pitiable class of people "outranked" by people like her illustrious self and Donald Trump.

Trump put the disability first too, mocking Serge's lack of muscle control due to a chronic condition, saying "you gotta see this guy," and then doing a mean impression of him.

But you know-- and try to just open your mind here. You'll be safe. I promise:

Trump treated Serge with more respect than Streep did.

In some perverse way Trump elevated Serge to equal footing with himself and everybody else in Trump's universe by ridiculing him with the same vicious measure of force he lets fly at every other person who criticizes him.

Trump didn't pull any punches and imply as Streep does that this guy is too weak to handle what Trump dishes out to everybody else. Again-- in a warped way-- that's more respect than he got from Streep. Trump dignified him by not tip toeing around this guy and treating him as different.

You think Serge doesn't know how he looks? Or what unique challenges he faces every day? You think after he saw the speech he went to check himself out in the mirror and went, "Oh... no!"

I'm not saying Trump was respectful to this guy, but I'm trying to get you to think critically about what you heard Streep say before you reflexively pick your side along the same partisan battle lines and start yelling.

They both disrespected Serge Kovaleski.

Both put the disability first.

But there is something so much worse, so insidiously condescending in the way Streep talked about him, insidious because of how easily it flies right under everyone's radar and just because of how damnably condescending it is.